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Man Sentenced to 69.5 Years for Murder of Football Coach at Rosenberg Sports Complex

(RICHMOND) – A Fort Bend County jury has convicted a 31-year-old Houston man of murder and sentenced him to 69.5 years in prison after he was accused of shooting his ex-wife’s husband to death at a Little League football tournament in 2020.

James Curtis Hamilton

According to prosecutors Lauren Valenti and Sunni Mitchell, James Curtis Hamilton killed Derwyn Lauderdale at a Little League football tournament on Oct. 10, 2020. Lauderdale was a beloved football coach at Fort Bend ISD’s Travis High School and was married to the mother of Hamilton’s children. Two days before the murder, the defendant made a threat via text message to kill Lauderdale. On the day of the murder, Hamilton arrived at the Seabourne Creek Sports Complex in Rosenberg shortly after Lauderdale arrived with his wife and the defendant’s two young children, ages six and eight. When Lauderdale approached Hamilton’s vehicle to ask about the text message, the defendant shot him and attempted to flee.

Fortunately, Hamilton was stopped by two bystanders who were present for the tournament.

At trial, the defense asserted self-defense claiming that Lauderdale had a gun and Hamilton was forced to shoot, but prosecutors successfully argued to the jury that the defendant was not justified in using deadly force against his victim. During the punishment phase of trial, the state introduced evidence to show that Hamilton had abused the mother of his children for years and had been convicted of Assault – Family Violence. Additionally, the defendant had a conviction for the unlawful possession of a firearm.

“Mr. Lauderdale’s death was a tragic loss for his family, the youth that witnessed the event, and our community as a whole,” said Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton. “The jury’s sentence was appropriate and proportionate to the crime committed. Law enforcement, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, and the jury ensured that just was served.”


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